Is the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie based on a true story?

Many movies these days claim to be based on true stories but are they? One such movie is one of the most popular horror movies of all time, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The opening scene in the movie states that, “it was based on true events” but is this really true?

Facts behind the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie

  • Tobe Hooper heard about Ed Gein and decided to make the now infamous Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
  • Most of Tobe Hoopers “inspiration” for Leatherface came from Ed’s collection of human and animals artifacts that he made. These artifacts were made from exhumed corpses from the local graveyards and fashioned trophies / keepsakes from their bones and skin. Some of the other items that police discovered at his home in Planfield Wisconsin in 1957 were.
    • Four noses
    • Whole human bones and fragments
    • Nine masks of human skin
    • Bowls made from human skulls
    • Ten female heads with the tops sawed off
    • Human skin covering several chair seats
    • Mary Hogan’s head in a paper bag
    • Bernice Worden’s head in a burlap sack
    • Nine vulvas in a shoe box
    • Skulls on his bedposts
    • Organs in the refrigerator
    • A pair of lips on a draw string for a window-shade.
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Ed Gein, the Planfield Ghoul

texas chainsaw massacre
inside Gein’s home

Edward Theodore Gein was born on August 27, 1906, and died on July 26, 1984. Ed was also known as the Butcher of Plainfield, and the Plainfield Ghoul.  During his life, he rose to prominence due to the fact he was an American murderer and body snatcher. Ed Gein committed his crimes in and around his hometown of Plainfield, Wisconsin.  He gained widespread notoriety after authorities discovered that he had exhumed corpses.

While in jail, he had confessed to killing two women; tavern owner Mary Hogan in 1954, and a Plainfield hardware store owner, Bernice Worden, in 1957. During his trial, he was initially found unfit to stand trial and was subsequently confined to a mental health facility. In 1968, Gein was found guilty but legally insane of the murder of Worden and was sentenced to a psychiatric institution. He died in Mendota Mental Health Institute of cancer of the liver and respiratory failure, on July 26, 1984, age 77. He is buried next to his family in the Plainfield Cemetery, in a now-unmarked grave. It is believed that he killed over 15 people during his life.

So is the Texas Chainsaw Movie Based on a True Story?

While the movie pulls different parts of the Ed Gein story, the movie and plot are entirely fictionalized.  To me, the creepiest part of the story is how humans such as Ed can be capable of such evil deeds.  Is it possible that Ed Gein was possessed by a demon, or was because he had severe psychiatric issues that caused him to believe in a distorted reality that caused him to commit the murders?


7 thoughts on “Is the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie based on a true story?”

  1. Someone needs to get the facts straight about this. Ed Gein was not a serial killer. The definition of a serial killer is that of a person who kills more than three people. Ed Gein only killed two people and was convicted of one. He dug up the remains of bodies that were put to rest and saved pieces of the bodies.

  2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre never happened. If it had of, there would be more than just a bunch of movies. The creator, Toby Hooper, had read the Ed Gein story with him eating a person, and wearing women’s faces, so he was thinking about making the movie and saw a chainsaw in a hardware store.

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